Duck spirit takes off across the country, state and campus

Forget about feeding the ducks. Instead the nation is on a feeding frenzy of all things related to the UO Ducks.

Since the University of Oregon beat Florida State in the Rose Bowl, the Ducks and the Ohio State Buckeyes have been in the limelight leading up to the national championship football game on Monday in Texas.

There was the puppy prediction bowl on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.”

The Oregon Duck makes an appearance on Good Morning AmericaThen a Duck and Buckeye met on Good Morning America for a fitness challenge. 

But that’s just the beginning. Bets are being made. TV cameras are focused on campus. Even the Eugene police officers are getting in on the action.

ESPN will be on campus all day on Monday talking to students and broadcasting live segments  throughout the day from the Student Recreation Center.

Keeping with a long-storied tradition, UO President Scott Coltrane and OSU President Michael Drake will exchange trees. A new Ohio buckeye will come to campus and the UO will send a Chief Joseph Lodgepole Pine, an evergreen native to Eastern Oregon and noted for turning bright yellow in the winter.

Out on Capital Hill in Washington DC, senators and congressmen are getting personal about their home states and alma maters. Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley have settled on a visible bet with Ohio Senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman. If Oregon wins the championship, the Ohio senators will “throw the O” sign on the Capital steps. If Ohio wins, Wyden and Merkley will spell out O-H-I-O on the steps instead.

Oregon Congressman Greg Walden (an SOJC graduate) and Montana Congressman Ryan Zinke (CAS graduate and former UO football player) have set a wager with House Speaker John Boehner and other Ohio delegates related to the game. If Oregon wins, the Ohio delegation will wear green and yellow ties on Tuesday. If Ohio wins, Walden and Zinke will sport scarlet and gray.

Lane County and Franklin County, Ohio commissioners got in on the fun by placing a wager on a basket of local goods. Lane County would send items including marionberry syrup, Euphoria Chocolate and lavender sugar should the Buckeyes prevail. Anthony Thomas buckeyes, White Castle Sliders and Thunderkiss cold-pressed coffee will make its way west if the Ducks win.

Want to get in on the competition? Be part of the “Ducks vs. Bucks” giving challenge.  Between now and 9 a.m. Tuesday, UO and OSU are going head to head on raising money for academics. Make a donation or join the UO Alumni Association to show support for the UO and beat Ohio State. 

Around town, EPD will “duck” out this weekend. All 130 officers will wear a UO lapel pin and are encouraged to wear their own hats and other gear. All 45 patrol cars will fly Duck flags. In Portland, the Morrison Bridge — spanning the Willamette River — will be lit green and yellow on Monday night.

For those who want to keep “Mighty Oregon” close, the Oregon Marching Band is offering the Oregon Fight Song as a ringtone. Fans are hoping to hear the band play it live many times during the gam. All proceeds will benefit the marching band.

Still looking for a place to watch the game? Student watch parties will be hosted on campus. UO Alumni Association chapters are also hosting parties across the country